Friday,22 February, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1408, (6 - 12 September 2018)
Friday,22 February, 2019
Issue 1408, (6 - 12 September 2018)

Ahram Weekly

ACA gains a new chief

What are the credentials of the Administrative Control Authority’s new head?

ACA gains a new chief
ACA gains a new chief

Major General Sherif Seifeddin Hussein was sworn in on 30 August as the new head of the Administrative Control Authority (ACA), the country’s main anti-corruption body, reports Gamal Essam El-Din. Hussein replaces Mohamed Erfan, who had held the post since April 2015.

Hussein, 55, graduated from the Military Academy in 1985. He has served as commander of the Infantry Division, commander of the southern military zone and led Egyptian peacekeeping forces in South Sudan.

Hussein’s appointment was received positively in parliamentary circles. Many MPs believe the ACA, in collaboration with parliament, can play a leading role fighting corruption, phasing out unnecessary red tape and imposing discipline on government departments.

Ahmed Al-Sigini, head of parliament’s Local Administration Committee, told reporters that the appointment of Hussein injects new blood in the country’s main watchdog authority.

“The move is part of a wider shake-up of the government and local councils which we hope will lead to improved economic performance and better public services,” said Al-Sigini.

Hussein is well qualified to streamline the performance of the ACA, Tamer Abdel-Kader, deputy head of parliament’s Media Committee, said in a statement. “His experience of military planning, strategic research, technological innovation and performance supervision will help the ACA play a bigger role in fighting corruption in government and public circles.”

Hussein, who also served as Egypt’s military attaché to Germany, has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Ain Shams University, a Masters in military sciences from Egypt’s College of Commanders and Staff, and a PhD in planning from China’s University of National Defence.

The ACA has uncovered several cases of bribery involving senior state officials recently. Its investigations led to the arrest and imprisoning of a former minister of agriculture in 2015, the governor of Menoufiya in January 2018, the deputy governor of Alexandria in 2017, the head of the state Food Industries Holding Company in March, the head of Giza governorate’s Haram district in June and head of the Egyptian Customs Authority in August.

 “Under Erfan the ACA did a good job of clamping down on corruption and we hope this will continue. It sends positive signals about Egypt to international investors,” says Abdel-Kader.

A new law regulating the performance of the ACA was approved by parliament in March 2017.

“The law gives the ACA a say in who is nominated to leading positions in government, including cabinet ministers and provincial governors,” says Al-Sigini. “Indeed, the ACA’s fingerprints were all over the latest reshuffle of governors. We can expect it to continue to investigate the CVs of figures nominated to take leading government posts.”

The new law also gives the ACA a role in settling disputes between businessmen and the government, imposing transparency on government departments and reviewing the bureaucracy and red-tape that breed corruption.

“We hope Hussein will exercise the ACA’s new powers to tighten the grip on corruption in Egypt, improving the country’s standing on the International Index of Transparency and making it a more attractive destination for investments,” said Al-Sigini.

Outgoing ACA head Erfan has been appointed as President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi’s advisor for governance and information infrastructure.

“Under the constitution the naming of a new head of the ACA must be followed by a parliamentary vote,” says Al-Sigini. “Hussein’s CV will now be submitted to parliament’s Legislative and Constitutional Affairs Committee for review before his name is put before MPs for a vote.”

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